One of the unique aspects of my profession is the degree of access I have into other people’s lives. I watch their home movies, share the special events of their lives, and listen while they tell their personal stories.
When I’m videotaping an event or a customer testimonial, people may spend a few minutes talking to me on-camera. Then we part company, and they usually never see me again. I, on the other hand, take that footage back to my studio, upload it to my computer, then start the editing process. I watch the footage a few times, then start cutting, moving, tweaking and fine tuning. After the video is “done,” I watch it one more time before sending it out for client review. Then I make any necessary changes, watch it again, upload it or burn it to a DVD, then probably watch it one more time. Needless to say, I spend a lot more time with the people in my videos then they spend with me.
As a result, I’ve had some interesting interactions when I’ve run into people that I’ve met while on the job. Very often I remember them, but they don’t recognize me. I once picked out a woman I’d never met in a crowded auditorium because her husband had hired me to edit all of their home movies!
When I produce a video biography, I spend more time with the person I’m interviewing, usually a few hours, which allows us to form more of a relationship. But I still get to know much more about the other person then he or she learns about me. And I still spend a lot more time with them in post-production!
When people open up to me, share with me and allow me to videotape them, they are putting a certain amount of trust in me. Trust that I will respect their privacy, and that I won’t use any of my footage or knowledge inappropriately. It’s important to me that my customers know that I understand the trust they are placing in me and that I take it very seriously. I will never deliberately create a video that will embarrass a person, and I will never make a video public without the client’s permission.
I love my job. I love the variety of subjects I get to cover, I love the opportunities I have to learn new things, but mostly I love the relationships that I’ve been able to form and the people I’ve gotten to know.
Dave Waldman is a video storyteller and owner of Treasured Memories Video and B2B Video Solutions in Bedford, New Hampshire. He can be reached at (603) 566-3075, [email protected] or [email protected]. His website is davidwaldman.com.